I bought my first mobile phone in 1997 at my local telecom retail store.
Although calls cost £0.27 per minute, and the device didn’t fit in my pocket, it was an exciting moment for a young executive.
Twenty years later, US smartphone penetration is approaching 100 percent, and usage has doubled in the past three years.
The European market hit saturation more than a decade ago, and while new mobile customers still exist in Asia and South America, every region must eventually face the question: When everybody has a smartphone, what’s next?
The answer is retail. The future lies in new services, based on new devices.
To drive adoption of these services, telecoms providers must radically adapt their retail environments to create experiences – and not just maximise transactions.
While phones have evolved beyond our wildest dreams, the telecoms retail store hasn’t.
Bland, sterile store environments, where products are accompanied by a small spec sheet and a price card, won’t work anymore.
Experiential retail is quickly becoming critical for telcos with the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), smart homes and virtual reality (VR)/augmented reality (AR).
Telcos looking to grow will only drive adoption of these products if they evolve their bland stores…